There is currently more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loans. As students attempt to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctor degrees they are quickly drowning in tens of thousands of dollars in debt. While U.S. politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have promised to forgive those loans and offer free public university waivers, little seems to actually get accomplished. However, there is hope.
State governments, realizing the burden being faced by their students are starting to take action along with their public and private universities. Take for example Purdue University and the University of Utah. Both of those institutions are examining income share agreements. Under terms of their plans, students would be expected to pay back their college loans by giving up a portion of their income after they land a job.
Markeplace.org notes that 20 states are already planning for free public college, a move that could help them attract top talent from youngsters looking to make their way in the world without crippling debt to start them on the right path.
In a bold move, New York University School of Medicine watched application numbers increase by 47% after announcing free tuition for its students, a move that has already gone into effect.
There may not be a one-size fits all solution but it’s a start. Now we just have to do something about the crippling $1.5 trillion in student debt.
Thankfully, as more students move forward with free college programs and income share agreements, it might just give students suffering from massive student loan debt the ammunition they need to pressure lawmakers to finally forgive their loans. It’s progress, even if it’s slow progress.